Those who know me will vouch for the fact that I’m a simple soul, unversed in the ways of the modern world and easily confused by what I encounter. Every day I see and hear things that make me shake my innocent head and wonder what on earth it’s all about. Today I’d like to share with you something that has perplexed me recently, in the hopes that somebody can uncover a deep meaning and put my mind at rest.
That thing, gentle reader, is the ‘my family’ car stickers that seem to adorn the rear window of many family cars. Having googled this phenomenon just now, I can reveal that there are several, competing brands of ‘my family’ car stickers (and, indeed, ‘my family’ stickers to adorn other items that a family might own), but this collection seems to best represent what I’m seeing on Auckland’s family cars, at least as far as the quality of the graphics is concerned. All of the images in this post are lifted from that website, in case you feel an urge to tell the world that you’re a cricketing mother.
From what I can gather, the idea seems to be that a family will buy a sticker for each person in their house (and, in most cases, any pets), and then stick them on their car. The site I’ve linked to above is particularly hilarious because it enables you to choose the heads and bodies of your family members separately, to more accurately capture their essence. So, if you’re a working mother who likes to rock a sweet pair of pigtails, you’d choose head ‘HF15’ off this sheet:
And then choose this body, with the mobile phone and laptop revealing your office-bound identity:
The laptop is important – it differentiates you from the shopping socialite mother who also has a mobile phone, but who doesn’t need to go to the office and just gads around in heels all day, swinging a handbag. If that sounds like you, here’s your body:
Or if you felt that your love of cricket showed the world your soul more accurately, you’d go for this body:
The ‘adult female’ bodies are all reasonably generic, with only one or two larger options – such as this curvy lady:
If you’re obese I guess you’re expected to select your ‘perfect world’ body, which must give people a good laugh if, when parking near you at the supermarket, they see your perky ‘my family’ self on the window and then witness a lumbering woman heave herself out of the driver’s seat.
You can even add your dead mother to the rear window:
Or – to be more specific – your mother who died while pregnant:
Way to bring everybody down in the traffic jam, sharing the sad news about your dead wife and unborn child! And do pregnant women from families who would buy in to this car sticker madness die so often that they needed their own sticker? It’s very odd.
The ‘adult male’ face and body options are similar, with lots of sporty dads, a few guys in suits, and a couple of chunkier options (one of which is manning a barbeque, which is probably why he ended up that size).
One thing that’s available in both genders is a version of this body:
I’m guessing that Dad (or Mum) is a deadbeat and has skipped town. Given that all the ‘adult male’ heads feature big grins, it must look pretty funny on a car – a real ‘Dad’s skipped town and abandoned us, and he couldn’t be happier!’ message.
But what does this one mean?
Is a family who uses this sticker trying to tell the world that they don’t know the identity of their children’s father? I suppose that could make sense for the men, but how would it work for the women? Or is the family with this type of sticker advertising for a new mother or father to join the ranks – like saying ‘hey – there’s a vacancy in this family: could you be the man to fill it’? Here’s a clue, solo parents: you might have better luck in finding a replacement parent for your kids if you didn’t advertise that you’re the kind of person who likes ‘my family’ car stickers by, well, using ‘my family’ car stickers.
There are a gazillion bodies to represent children of both genders, at all developmental stages. And there are many pet options to choose from, but no options to show deceased pets, which seems like a serious oversight. Surely the kind of people who feel compelled to advertise their family to the unfeeling world would also want to tell everybody about their dead cat? There are grandparent stickers as well, but no dead grandparent stickers. That’s pretty harsh.
When pointing out a ‘my family’ car to Tristan over the weekend, I commented that it would be hilarious to see some good variations on the standard ‘father, mother, three kids and a dog’ families. I like the idea of a Mormon rear window with one father, seven mothers and 28 children, or a lonely single woman rear window with one woman and ten cats. Or a swingers’ cult rear window (on a mini van, probably), with a bewildering array of men and women and some confused children. Lo and behold, check out the ‘my family’ car I spotted at traffic lights earlier today!
There seems to be three mothers, two fathers, five kids and a dog – and all on a station wagon! It must be very difficult for all of them to squeeze in when they want to go to the beach.
For the love of all that is wonderful, can anybody justify to me why people would litter their rear windows with such randomness? Is this just a step on from the accursed ‘baby on board’ plaques that people still use to advertise their procreative flair, despite all right-thinking people hating them for doing so?